Saturday, January 28, 2012

Alma mater turns 100 (The Star, January 27, 2012)

By Ivan Loh

SMK St Michael Ipoh was more than just a school. It was “home” to some of those who studied there in the late 1960s.
Old Michaelian Association president Adrian Tsen, who completed his Form Six in 1969, said during his time, students would stay back at the school library until 10pm to study.
“We started our day at about 7am and stayed back until late in the evenings.
Memories: Tsen with a picture of the school taken back in the 1960s.


“We would then go home to take our bath and have dinner before heading back to the library at about 7pm,” Tsen said, adding that it was so much fun back then.
Reminiscing about school life as it geared up towards its centennial celebrations this year, Tsen told The Star that the La Salle Brothers would stay back late each night to tutor the weaker students.
“Some of these students, who excelled in sports but were poor in their studies, were told to come back to school at night.
“The Brothers made sure everyone got a holistic education, in both academic and co-curricular activities.
“We cried our eyes out when we finished Form Six and had to leave school,” he said.
Tsen, who had captained the school’s rugby team and represented Perak in water polo then, said the school had previously produced some very good athletes.
“We used to have good hockey and rugby teams and we were well known as a tennis school,” he said.
Tsen, however, noted that it was a completely different scenario these days.

Historic structure: The architecture of the St Michael’s Institution was designed by French La Sallean Brother Verniew Auguste in 1923.

“Students hardly stay back in school now.
“They head on straight for tuition classes after school or go home to their computer games,” he said.
He added that the bond between students was also not like it used to be.
“The students are no longer as close.
“The teachers are also less attached to the school and their students due to the fact that they are transferable after two years,” he said.
Nevertheless, Tsen said that the school’s turning 100 years was a great achievement.
“We are actually quite young compared to other notable schools like SMK Methodist (ACS), SMK Perempuan Methodist and SM Anderson.
“I am excited and looking forward to our grand reunion dinner in September.
“We are going to have it at the school field and it is going to be a blast when all the old faces step back into school!” he said.

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